This Associated Press video is called UN Secretary General [Kofi Annan] reiterates opposition to war on Iraq.
Another video used to say about itself:
9 September 2012
“I was completely against the war with every fiber of my being, and I was thinking, ‘How can we stop this?’ But it became clear it was unstoppable. Many nations around the world in Latin America and Africa spoke out against the war. I was relieved that the United Nations did not give approval for the war. It would have been a disaster for the United Nations. Many Americans at the time were upset that the United Nations wouldn’t support the war, but I think they now understand that we made the right decision.”
-Kofi Annan, Former U.N. Secretary General
By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:
A hell of our own making
Saturday 21st November 2015
This is all getting horribly predictable. The West wages war and in doing so ostracises and radicalises a new generation of terrorists who bring the war back to their front doors with a vengeance.
Said Western state condemns the attacks as cowardly assaults on their freedom and way of life and vows to escalate the bombing and crack down on civil liberties at home, thus ensuring the cycle continues in perpetuity.
Other nations jump on the band wagon and use said atrocity to ratchet up the fear quotient in their own countries as a pretext for brutal repression and the further erosion of free speech and human rights in the name of national security.
Rightwingers seize the news agenda with their denunciations of barbaric Muslims, as if there were some form of hive mind in action and billions of people around the globe thought as one in their hatred of the West.
’Twas ever thus. The enemy may change but the response and rhetoric do not.
And of course as the true extent of the sickening massacre in Paris unfolded they took primacy over attacks mere days beforehand in non-western countries including Egypt, Lebanon and just yesterday Mali, not to mention the almost daily slaughter in Iraq and Syria.
But then they’re all savages over there and that’s just what they do, right?
These atrocities warrant no more than a few column inches or a soundbite on the news, and then usually only if there are any white westerners involved.
This is despite the glaring fact that most of the fighting and factionalisation in these regions can be directly traced back to colonialism, imperialism and Western intervention.
There was no Al-Qaida in Iraq until the 2003 invasion.
For all its faults Iraq was one of the only secular states in the Middle East. Now it is riven with sectarianism and extremism by Sunni and Shia alike.
Likewise Isis did not exist until the assaults on Libya and now Syria.
No one in their right mind would attempt to justify the barbaric slaughter that claimed over 120 lives on the streets of Paris in the space of just a few hours.
The murder of innocent civilians can never be justified under any circumstances.
But there is a massive double standard at work here.
Are the appalling deaths of innocents in Paris somehow worse than the deaths of tens of thousands of blameless people across the Middle East and Africa?
Does the fact that it is the state carrying out these killings make them justifiable, merely unfortunate collateral damage as the time-worn phrase would have it?
To both of these questions I would argue that the answer is an emphatic no.
By the same token, is it more cowardly to murder civilians with assault rifles and suicide vests than from a comfortable seat thousands of miles from the carnage operating an unmanned drone as if playing the latest PlayStation game?
Or by be-suited warriors in Westminster, Washington of elsewhere giving the go ahead for indiscriminate bombing raids and pontificating about the righteousness of their cause?
I think not.
Murder is murder.
There is no grey area or ambiguity here.
At the risk of sounding cynical and indifferent there is a simple correlation here: France does not send forces to Iraq, no attacks on French soil. Sarkozy gleefully cheerleads for the bombing of Libya and the policy is extended by Hollande…
So now we face the prospect of spiralling even further into a hell of our own making.
Greater oppression, greater suspicion, further attempts to justify the intensification of the abhorrently racist asylum and immigration systems in the majority of EU states.
It will not make a blind bit of difference in terms of preventing or deterring such horrendous atrocities, only a major shift in Western foreign policy can do that.
But then it is not really meant to. It is all a pretext for suppressing dissent and criminalising free thought.
Now that is truly despicable.
Numerous media reports over the past several days have revealed that most of the Islamists who engaged in the suicide attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, as well as the reputed organizer of the attacks, were known to the French and Belgian security services well before November 13. But no intelligence or police agency took action against them to prevent the murderous rampage: here.
Popular frustration spread across Belgium yesterday as contradictions mounted in the official justification for the continued police lockdown of Brussels and the national state of alert: here.
After Paris attacks, Spain offers to reinforce French troops in Africa: here.
Isra Mohammed: 15-year-old Muslim schoolgirl has message for people who blamed her little sister for the Paris attacks: here.
After President François Hollande announced last month that France might deprive dual nationals convicted of terrorism or crimes against the state of French citizenship, the Socialist Party (PS) government is now considering extending that punishment to all French nationals: here.
On Friday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reaffirmed initial Socialist Party (PS) statements after the November 13 terror attacks in Paris carried out by the Islamist State (IS, or Daesh), that the current state of emergency in France must be made permanent: here.
By Peter Schwarz:
The end of liberal Europe
23 January 2016
The historian Heinrich August Winkler has described the history of Germany as a “long road to the West.” By “West,” the Social Democrat means parliamentary democracy, human and civil rights—as they were defined by the American and French revolutions—class compromise and social balance.
After a long Sonderweg (special path), according to Winkler’s interpretation, Germany had finally arrived in the “West” through the Constitution of 1949, the nonviolent reunification of 1991 and the integration into the European Union, which finally led the European continent to peace.
Winkler’s conception of the “West” was always ideologically driven and involved a significant glossing over of reality. However, if recent events are assessed on the basis of his criterion, then Germany and Europe have rapidly travelled the “road to the West” in reverse over recent months. Almost overnight, the political culture has been violently transformed. The social democratic and liberal Europe has collapsed.
Everywhere, the ruling elites are moving sharply to the right. Chauvinism, xenophobia, militarism and the call for a strong state are on the rise. This applies not only to the emerging ultra-right-wing parties such as the French National Front, the Alternative for Germany, the Austrian Freedom Party, the Hungarian Fidesz and the Polish PiS, but also for every establishment party, including those supposedly on the left.
Pseudo-left publications such as the Pabloite United Secretariat’s International Viewpoint are among the leading voices in the chorus calling for state intervention and imperialist war in the name of allegedly defending women’s rights.
In Germany, political parties and the media have sparked a campaign of racist incitement against refugees following the wildly hyped events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, reminiscent of the anti-Semitic campaigns of the Nazis.